I am a Fingerprint Examiner. I am currently training in my role so I can identify suspects to crime scene marks taken by Crime Scene Investigators.
I previously worked in DBS Vetting, which was my first introduction to Essex Police.
For several years I served as a Special Constable in Braintree and Uttlesford, which meant I gained lots of experience and really grew in confidence.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
To be honest, as with any job it’s the people you work with.
The Fingerprint Hub is made up of a great team and they make working in the department a genuine pleasure.
There’s always someone willing to help me with training and to check my work when I need them. The job itself is basically a series of very complex spot-the-difference puzzles, which makes it fun!
Why is diversity and inclusion so important in and outside of the workplace?
It’s so important, particularly in policing, because our community is not made up of one type of person.
Essex has a growing diverse culture of ethnicities, languages, sexualities and much more. We need to represent as much of the community as possible.
Facing prejudice of any kind is hard, and being judged by strangers for who you love or how you look definitely is unacceptable, but overcoming adversity makes you so much stronger – and that’s what the force needs right now.
Were there any barriers to joining Essex Police?
A lot of people perceive policing to be made up of solely straight white men. I know a lot of women who look at policing and are put off, but there are so many opportunities here.
Essex Police is actively changing, and it’s great to see a more diverse workforce and have some strong female leaders to look up to.
When it comes down to race, sexuality, and disability it can really impact people applying for roles because they perceive these differences as an extra barrier.
I personally didn’t have any barriers when joining Essex Police. I identify as a lesbian, and I was aware of picking my moment to “come out” at work because with every new job I start I have to come out all over again.
Why do you think it’s so important that our force values difference?
It’s important to value difference so that our workforce can represent the county we’re policing.
You can’t adequately look after people if you don’t know about them, and we know that certain communities will have a harder time relying on us and trusting us if they don’t see themselves reflected in the force as a whole. Having people in the force who understand the struggles of certain communities – whether that’s different ethnicities, sexualities, or religions – is so important for building that trust and getting more people into the force.
How has Essex Police as an organisation supported you in your career?
Essex Police has so many staff networks that I didn’t even know existed!
I’m on the Executive Board of the LGBTQ+ Network. I joined this year after an event the team put on internally, and decided I wanted to help be part of the change – whether that’s supporting people in the force who are struggling, or advising and educating on matters that directly impact people of different sexualities or gender identities.
I’m very thankful to work for an employer who values mental and physical health and provides me with the tools to get support when needed.
I’ve used other networks and groups – like the Endometriosis network, health initiatives like mindfulness and counselling, and even physiotherapy.
Tell us something interesting about your role?
Fingerprints are completely unique. Although twins can share the same DNA, their fingerprints will be different. This is because fingerprints are formed in the womb and are one of the first features to form. Each one is unique because each pregnancy is unique, you can never replicate an identical pregnancy. Yet another way we are all different and a great way to celebrate your diversity!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Essex Police?
You are stronger and braver than you believe, and you will never know unless you try.
A lot of people (particularly women) think the police is a boys’ club and tt couldn’t be further from the truth.
You are the only person stopping yourself from trying something new.
I know people who have started working as officers and detectives later in their life, having had a full career elsewhere and they’re fantastic officers who bring a whole wealth of knowledge to the role that someone younger may not have experienced yet.
I genuinely believe your differences make you a more compassionate person and can teach you vital skills.